Repeated Pap smear screening among Mexican-American women

M. E. Fernández-Esquer, P. Espinoza, A. G. Ramirez, A. L. McAlister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The factors that influence repeated cervical cancer screening among Latina women are not well understood. Studies of compliance in this population over-emphasize initial or recent screening and under-emphasize how this practice is repeated over time. The purpose of this study was to identify the demographic and psychosocial factors associated with repeated Pap smear screening among low-income Mexican-American women living in two urban communities in Texas. A total of 1804 Mexican-American women were interviewed as part of a community survey. Multiple regression results indicate that demographic characteristics such as age, marital status, level of acculturation and health insurance were associated with the total number of Pap smears reported for the 5 years prior to the interview. Pap smear beliefs were the strongest predictor of repeated screening, while global beliefs about cancer did not significantly explain the results. Health promotion interventions should take into consideration the cultural and psychosocial needs of Mexican-American women, placing emphasis on their specific screening-related beliefs, if they are to succeed in promoting repeated compliance with Pap smear screening guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-487
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Education Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Education


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